We toil in our gardens for months, but the work pays off when we harvest our produce or see our flowers bloom. Still, isn’t it time that we let others benefit from our labor? How about a garden habitat for animals? Transitioning a garden into a wildlife sanctuary isn’t only great for animals; it’s also beneficial for plants.
5 Tips for a DIY Wildlife Sanctuary
Here are some animal haven tips for making wildlife feel at home in your garden.
Provide animal shelter
One of the quickest ways to encourage more animals to visit your garden is to provide shelter. Birdhouses are a great start. Consider adding hedges for bird and hedgehogs. Bug boxes make a great animal shelter for ladybugs. A log pile in a well-shaded corner of a garden will be a welcoming spot for many critters including beetles and other insects.
Feed your critter visitors
The right food source will attract more wildlife to your garden. Try different types of birdfeeders. Our feathered friends love seeds and peanuts. Consider getting a sugar water feeder for hummingbirds. If you want to encourage small mammals like hedgehogs consider scattering peanuts and mixed seeds around your lawn. Foxes will eat scraps and cereals.
A water source is needed to sustain all life, so consider installing one in your wildlife garden. Birds will appreciate a birdbath. However, for other critters consider installing a pond. You can dig a space for a pond complete with rocks and foliage or you can invest in a container of water planted in the ground so critters can reach. This addition will attract butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, and other wildlife.
Pick the right foliage
Encourage critters with the right flora. Butterflies appreciate native flowering plants from your local area (especially orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow blossoms). Hummingbirds prefer flowers with a lot of nectar and minimal fragrance (red, tubular flowers are their favorite). Some favorites of bees include buttercups, catnip, lavender, poppies, roses, sunflowers, and thyme.
Be cautious with pesticides
If you’re committed to turning your garden into a wildlife sanctuary, reconsider your use of pesticides. These chemicals can harm desirable wildlife garden visitors like butterflies and bees. Pesticides will also kill important bugs (like beetles and slugs) which are a great food source for animals like birds. If you find yourself facing a bug epidemic consider natural traps or pest barriers.